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I’m not the protagonist of a novel or anything. I’m just a college student who likes to read, like you could find anywhere. But... if, for argument’s sake, you were to write a story with me in the lead role, it would certainly be... a tragedy.
~ Ken Kaneki

Ken Kaneki (金木 研, Kaneki Ken) is the main protagonist of Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul:re.

He was voiced by famous voice actor Austin Tindle. 

Formerly a human studying Japanese Literature at Kamii University and living a normal life, everything was soon changed after he had Rize's kakuhou transplanted into him and became a One-Eyed Ghoul. After joining Anteiku as a part-time waiter, he learns how to live as a Ghoul and became known as Eyepatch (眼帯, Gantai).

After being captured by Aogiri Tree, he was able to accept his ghoul side, forming a team with the goal of protecting the ones precious to him and "plucking out" people who threaten the place he belongs to. Because of his Kakuja's distinct appearance, the CCG gave him the nickname Centipede (百足, Mukade).

He is currently living under the identity of Haise Sasaki (佐々木 琲世, Sasaki Haise), as a Rank 1 Ghoul Investigator, serving as the mentor of the CCG's Quinx Squad and a member of Team Mado. However, his memories of his past have been lost, leaving him unaware of his true self. 

Appearance

As a child, Kaneki had all the same features he has now as an adult. As a normal university student, Kaneki is a scrawny young man with little to no athletic background who prefers to read books. In his free time, he wears casual clothes.

At work, he wears the standard Anteiku waiter uniform, consisting of black trousers and a grey waistcoat over a white dress shirt, and a brown necktie. Because he couldn't properly control his single kakugan that manifests in his left eye, he wore a medical eye patch to cover it.

His ghoul mask shows resemblance to a leather gimp mask with an eye patch. It bares a lipless mouth that shows large, gnashing teeth, much like a restrained asylum monster. The bolts sticking out of his neck and the fact that he is an artificial ghoul gives him a Frankenstein theme.

After being tortured by Yamori for a period of ten days, his hair became white and his nails turned black due to heavy stress, anxiety, and continuous bodily regeneration. He also began wearing a form fitting black outfit when he had the intention of fighting as a ghoul, both for intimidation and practicality.

After the timeskip, his white hair is now adorned by black streaks which have grown out from the center of his head, and his nails are no longer black. Similar to the other Ghoul Investigators, Kaneki is seen well dressed in the standard suit and tie most of the time. When embarking on missions, he wears a white trench coat over his uniform and occasionally carries a briefcase with him.

In the oneshot, Kaneki's appearance is relatively the same, except has a more muscular build, and instead of a leather mask with an eyepatch, he wears a plan white mask with exaggerated teeth and lips with one eye in the form of a plus, and the other a heart. It strangely resembles a clown mask.

Personality

Kaneki is a shy badass, with Hide being his only close friend. He usually spends most of his time reading books, mostly novels. He is extremely gentle and appears to be optimistic most of the time. Influenced by his mother and a true testament of modesty, he willingly takes blame and punishment from others so that he can be someone who doesn't hurt people, but rather "the person getting hurt". However, this lack of assertiveness normally gets him bullied and taken advantage of.

However, beneath his selfless and gentle nature is an underlying fear of being alone. Ever since his mother died, Kaneki has developed his personality to resemble his mother's. He despises the idea of solitude, hence he tries to protect those dear to him so he would not have to face his fears of being alone in the world.

This is perhaps his greatest weakness and act of selfishness. Since Kaneki is always trying to protect others, he is essentially trying to protect himself from becoming alone again. Therefore to escape that scenario, he would shoulder the task of protecting others onto himself without looking for others to help him. This is also the reason why Kaneki seems to reject the notion of "living" because to him, watching others die before him is the beginning of returning to those lonely days without anyone behind him.

After he was turned into a half-ghoul, he clings to his human side. To keep his life in the human world, he began to work at Anteiku and had built relationships with the ghouls there. Because of his experiences, he had started to have interest in becoming stronger and began reading martial art books so that he could protect himself and the people close to him. He was troubled with the fact that he is a half-ghoul and is searching for a place he can belong to. If people close to him are threatened, Kaneki will try to protect them even if he is the one who gets hurt the most instead.

After his time being held captive during the Aogiri arc and undergoing constant torture by the hands of Yamori, Kaneki's personality changes. He becomes more ruthless and brutal in order to protect his friends, all the while maintaining complete composure. He no longer fears his ghoul side and as a result, he becomes much more cold and barbaric during battles such as when he began eating Yamori's kagune in order to strengthen himself. By embracing his ghoul nature wholeheartedly, Kaneki has given up being "human".

While still capable of showing his previous gentle nature to those he cares about, he can automatically turn merciless with a blink of an eye against his enemies or those he does not trust, such as Tsukiyama. Banjou hypothesized that Kaneki has developed some form of mental instability during his time in the 11th ward and that this would gradually wear him down.

After raiding Kanou's lab and attacking Banjou, Kaneki begins to revert back to his old personality from before the Aogiri Arc. However he enters a period of soul-searching, seeking to reclaim his human side as well as becoming uncertain about the path he has taken to become stronger. He also starts to really question and seek answers from individuals such as Uta, Yomo, and Yoshimura in order to understand the incidents that have happened around him since he turned into a ghoul.

Whenever he is near-starvation and loses control of his Kagune or kakuja, he seems to develop a personality that emulates Rize and Yamori.

As Haise, Kaneki is a self-contained, good-natured individual. He comes off as trustworthy, loyal and devoted. While he portrays a serious demeanor towards his work, Haise is also merciful to some extent, as he believes that an Investigator should not annihilate ghouls unnecessarily. Though he is hailed as the mentor of Quinx, he shows apportioned respect and great concern for his colleagues, pledging a protective streak over them. He also complies with the obligations assigned by his seniors without hesitation. Haise habitually reads books, and is very co-operative, as he’d prefer to work with his group than to single-handedly accomplish the CCG’s goals. Haise has a habit of using puns, shown by his conversation with Akira Mado in the Naan restaurant. He also tends to scratch the back of his head when he is thinking hard or feeling uncomfortable.

Because of Haise’s gentle persona, this leads his subordinates to constantly go out of their way and take the advantage of disobeying him, rendering him incompetent in controlling their actions, and he in turn worries about their safety. Also, unlike Kaneki who accepted his ghoul side, Haise rejects it and seem to be disgusted by his ghoul side as when it tried to convince him to accept it, he ignored it and thought of his mentors to give him courage.

However, during his encounter with Serpent, Haise relapsed back into his old persona, brutally wounding Serpent with his Kagune, even cracking his fingers, a habit that Kaneki had done in the past after being tortured by Yamori.

Plot

Background

As a child, Kaneki liked eating the burgers that his mother made when she was still alive. He lost his father when he was four years old. He barely remembered his face and was awfully curious as to what sort of person he was. He knew that his father was an avid reader and had loads of books. As Kaneki followed the sentences in the books his father had been reading, he felt like he was having a conversation with his father which calmed him down.

His mother later died overworking herself when he was ten. All the work that she had to deal with was too overwhelming and the one who put the most stress on her was Kaneki's aunt (his mother's sister). His aunt was tight on money and hounded his mother for cash. Being left with nothing but burden, his aunt can be seen as the one who drove his mother to her death. He was then adopted by his aunt's family, the Asaoka family, after his mother passed away.

His aunt's son, Yuuichi, who she always compared with him since Yuuichi did not do well at school. This greatly angered her. When comparing her son with Kaneki, she also compared Kaneki with his late mother, saying how alike they were. Her feelings of inferiority regarding Kaneki's mother were turned on him as spite. As time passed, the family became a place that did not give Kaneki any comfort for long because nobody in the family would look after or care for him.

He barely had any friends during elementary school. During that time, Hide approached Kaneki, most likely because he noticed that Kaneki had trouble dealing with his classmates. Since then, Hide and Kaneki have been best friends. Hide was his only support during the time the Asaokas began to ostracize him, which really saved him from loneliness.

Prologue

In the first chapter, Kaneki and Hide listened to the news about ghoul attacks in the 20th ward while in Anteiku. Hide wondered if Touka was Kaneki's new crush that he wanted to show him, but Kaneki denied it. Instead, He pointed to Rize as she entered the café. After Hide had left the place, Kaneki ended up being arranged to a date with Rize. However, Rize turned out to be a ghoul targeting Kaneki, which she revealed after tricking Kaneki into entering a isolated alley. During her attack, Kaneki was wounded in the abdomen by her kagune, but steel bars fell on her and apparently killed her before she could kill him. To save his life, the staff of the Kanou General Hospital under the direction of Dr. Kanou decided to transplant Rize's organs into him. From then on, Kaneki became a half-human, half-ghoul.

After the accident, Kaneki hid the fact that Rize was a ghoul. He found everything he ate tasted disgusting and he was hardly able to eat normal food, so he started to live only on water for days. Around that time he realized that ghouls were also unable to eat normal food, his hunger struck him. Unable to find anything to satisfy his hunger, he wandered the streets. At that time, he found out that the waitress, Touka, from Anteiku was also a ghoul when she killed a human in front of him. In terror, he ran away. He soon saw that he could barely keep himself in check. Since he thought the organ transplant was the reason for his transformation, he tried to get rid of the transplanted organs, but was unsuccessful. Desperate, he turned to Touka for help. Touka refused to give assistance, but Anteiku's manager Yoshimura kindly gave Kaneki human meat to satisfy his hunger.

However, Kaneki was still repelled by the thought of having to eat human meat, so he decided to continue rejecting it. Instead, he looked for other digestible food frantically. He discovered that he was still able to drink coffee. Drinking coffee calmed him down, so he went off to buy more. In a store, a man revealed to be Nishio advised him to buy the instant coffee "Blondy". As Kaneki was returning home, he noticed the smell of delicious food. He traced the smell's source, which turned out to be a human corpse. The ghoul Kazuo Yoshida was eating the freshly slain body, but he was immediately killed by Nishio. Asserting that this was his feeding ground, Nishio attacked Kaneki too. At that moment, Touka appeared and declared that this place wasn't Nishio's feeding ground, but Rize's. Nishio retorted that this was originally his feeding ground until Rize came, but Touka, unfazed, responded that the feeding grounds would be re-alloted among the weaker ghouls and that it was his own fault for being too weak. Angered, Nishio attacked Touka, but was immediately defeated. Touka tried to force Kaneki to eat some of the meat, but Kaneki hysterically screamed that he was human and different from ghouls. Angered, Touka retorted that Kaneki was neither human nor ghoul and no place where he belonged, but she also warned him that a ghoul's hunger was hell.

When Kaneki and Hide visited a senpai from the university to get the DVD of the previous year's college festival, they disturbed him and Kimi when they were making out. Kaneki realized that the senpai was Nishio, the ghoul that attacked him shortly before. Nishio told them to help him look for the material, but then claimed that he took the disk home. He proposed that they should go to his home. In reality, he deceived Kaneki and Hide, knocked Hide out and started fighting Kaneki. He provoked Kaneki by puking on Hide than standing his face with his foot, but angered Kaneki was no match for Kagune-wielding Nishio. However, when Nishio tried to kill Hide, Kaneki made his kagune come out. With his kagune, Kaneki heavily injured Nishio. As Kaneki started to lose control and was about to eat Hide, Touka stopped him.

Later, Kaneki woke up and found himself inside Anteiku. The manager led him to the sleeping Hide. Kaneki wanted to approach Hide, but stopped. Before, he had already noticed blood inside his mouth and his diminished hunger, so he asked Yoshimura what he had eaten. The manager told him that he already knew what the answer was, since there is only one way to satisfy a ghoul's hunger. Kaneki cried out that he was neither human nor ghoul and there was no place for him, but Yoshimura replied that he was wrong and that he belonged to both worlds. Yoshimura proposed that Kaneki to work at Anteiku. Yoshimura would teach him how to live as a ghoul so that Kaneki could keep his place as a human.

Doves' Emergence

After Kaneki had started working part-time at Anteiku, his friend Hide visited him there. Hide thanked Touka for nursing Kaneki and him after the "car accident", the lie the manager used to cover up what had really happened to Kaneki, Nishio, and him. After they had left Hide, Touka told Kaneki to make sure that Hide won't find out about him being a ghoul: she would kill him to protect the ghouls' identities if that were to happen. Afterwards, the manager showed Kaneki how to eat sandwiches like a human. After Kaneki gave it a try, the manager gave him special sugar cubes that he could use to curb his hunger, but warned him that he might have to eat meat when the time would come. During Kaneki's working time, Ryouko Fueguchi and her daughter Hinami came to Anteiku. Touka told Kaneki that these two ghouls did not hunt themselves.

Ghoul investigators from CCG entered the 20th ward looking for Ryouko Fueguchi and her daughter Hinami. As the news spread in the ward, the manager asked Touka to guide Kaneki to the mask shop HySy ArtMask Studio in the 4th ward, where Kaneki became acquainted with its owner, Uta.

One day, the manager asked Kaneki to obtain "food supplies" with Yomo, i.e., they looked for humans who committed suicide. Afterwards, they picked Ryouko up, who was warned by Yomo that the investigators came because of her and that she should move more prudently for Hinami's sake. Ryouko agreed and said she would stop relying on her dead husband so that Hinami could depend on her. Kaneki thought that a parent's concern for their child was strong in any world.

Few days later, while Hinami was eating human meat in a room on Anteiku's second floor, Kaneki suddenly entered the room without knocking on the door. After he apologized, she asked if he is ghoul or human. To answer her question, Kaneki explained his situation. He noticed that she had one of Takatsuki's books, so they started to talk about the stories. Kaneki also tutored Hinami how to read some new kanji to expand her vocabulary. Before she and her mother left, Hinami thanked him and asked him to teach her again next time. When she and her mother left, the ghoul investigators encircled them. Ryouko gave her daughter the chance to escape while she fought the investigators. During her escape, Hinami ran into Kaneki and asked for help, but just as they arrived, Mado killed Ryouko. Kaneki participated in Anteiku's meeting after Ryouko's death. Kaneki considered Ryouko's death his fault for being too weak to save her.

The next day after Touka's attack on the ghoul investigators, Kaneki noticed Touka's injuries. He intended to treat her wounds, but Yoshimura stopped him, because Touka would have to carry the responsibility for her actions herself and Anteiku didn't have the power to oppose CCG. Even so, Kaneki still chose to treat her wounds. Kaneki told Touka that he believed the ghoul investigators' existence was necessary and that he considered her actions wrong. Nevertheless, he would mourn her were she to die, and asked her to teach him how to fight, so that he would be able to act next time. The next day, they entered the underground, tunnels originally built by ghouls, to practice. By threatening his life, she forced him to use his kagune. After training, Uta delivered Kaneki's mask.

Later, they went to CCG's branch office in the 20th ward to spread false information on Hinami's whereabouts. Before they could leave, Mado suspected them to be ghouls, so he forced Kaneki through the Rc scan gate, but the gate didn't react to Kaneki. While Hinami confined herself in Anteiku's room on the upper floor, Touka visited her and gave her a newspaper that contained Kusaba's death notice. Realizing what Touka was doing, Hinami ran away. When Touka and Kaneki noticed Hinami was missing, they split up to search for her. Touka found Hinami and informed Kaneki, but before they could leave, Mado attacked them. Kaneki was relieved they had found her, however, he overheard investigator Amon's phone conversation with Mado. As Amon set off for Kasahara River where Hinami and Touka were, Kaneki, wearing his mask, stood in Amon's way to try to buy enough time for Touka and Hinami to flee.

Kaneki initially underestimated the investigator until Amon was easily able to overpower him. After taking down Kaneki, Amon paused to talk about the recent death of a fellow investigator, the orphans and demonized ghouls for corrupting the world with their gluttony. As a former human, Kaneki couldn't deny that ghouls had brought violence to the world and caused tragedies because of their consumption. However, after remembering Ryouko's sacrifice for her daughter, he finally realizes the truth to Yoshimura's earlier comment, that he is the only one who can see both the human and ghoul worlds in their entirety. That they could manage to get along due to their similarities if they would sit down and talk. 

Convinced that he has a reason to fight, Kaneki won using his reluctantly-used kagune. After defeating Amon in battle with his ghoul instincts excited, Kaneki starts losing control of his powers. Desperately, he asked Amon to leave so that he didn't have to kill someone. Shortly thereafter, Kaneki lost control and he started acting like the binge-eating Rize. Yomo appeared and stopped Kaneki from rampaging. Yomo and Kaneki rushed to Hinami's and Touka's whereabouts and afterwards left to go back to Anteiku. On their way back, Hinami asked if it was right for her to live and Kaneki answered that he believed Hinami's mother told her to live in her last moments.

After Mado's death, Kaneki went to Kanou General Hospital for a checkup. Kaneki heavily questioned if Kanou knew what had happened to his body. Afterwards, Kaneki went to university. During class, Hide brought up the news about the death of two ghoul investigators. To Kaneki's concern, Hide had mostly figured out the Rabbit case through deduction. As Kaneki asked Hide why he was interested in this matter, Hide pulled out Hisashi Ogura's new ghoul book that he found really interesting. Hide toyed with the idea of joining the investigation to which Kaneki heavily objected.

Later on, Kaneki went to Touka's apartment because he was worried about Hinami who had started living there. To Kaneki's surprise, Touka ate all of the home-made food by her classmate Yoriko, making him wonder how important Yoriko was to Touka.

Gourmet Arc

The day after Touka and Kaneki practiced underground with Yomo, Tsukiyama, nicknamed the Gourmet, came to Anteiku during their work time and was attracted to Kaneki's smell. On a later date, Tsukiyama approached Kaneki in his university as Kaneki immersed himself in a martial arts book. Tsukiyama persuaded Kaneki to meet him at a cafe the next Sunday. Lost in thought, Kaneki went to Anteiku despite it being closed and met Yomo in front of Anteiku. Yomo invited Kaneki to meet someone who asked for Kaneki. Together, they went to 14th ward's Helter Skelter bar and met Yomo's old friends, the bar owner Itori and Uta. After they had talked about the relationship between Yomo, Uta and Itori, Itori spilled a glass of blood on Kaneki to uncover his sole kakugan. Itori was excited seeing a One-Eyed Ghoul and wondered if the other "One-Eye" felt as self-conscious about his eye as Kaneki. Kaneki wanted to know about the other one-eyed ghouls, so Itori told Kaneki about hybrids, pregnancy of half-ghouls and the rumored "One-Eye". Soon, the conversation turned about Kaneki and Rize's mysterious death, and Kaneki discovered that the accident was likely set up by someone. Itori proposed a trade to Kaneki: if Kaneki uncovered information on the Ghoul Restaurant from the Gourmet, namely Tsukiyama, she would share information on the accident.

After the meeting, Kaneki, immersed in thought, got lost and ran into a group of ghouls that were attacking Nishio. Kaneki saved Nishio from the ghouls that planned to eat him and returned him to his apartment, while Nishio was cursing him. As Kaneki was about to leave, Kimi attacked Kaneki to protect Nishio, thinking that Kaneki was the "narcissistic man"; however, Nishio asked her to stop.

The following Sunday, after Kaneki and Tsukiyama played Squash, they visited the café. After Tsukiyama seemingly cut Kaneki's finger accidentally with his finger nail, he used Tsukiyama's handkerchief to soak up the blood. Tsukiyama went to the bathroom with the handkerchief and sniffed it, revealing his obsession with Kaneki's smell, flesh and blood. As Kaneki asked Tsukiyama about the ghoul restaurant to gather information, Tsukiyama invited him as a guest to the ghoul restaurant. However, this was a trap set by Tsukiyama, because he was not meant to be a regular guest, but instead was meant to become the dinner together with Kobachi and Ami. As Kaneki was fighting the restaurant's scrapper Taro-chan during the dismantling show, his one kakugan activated, revealing him to be one-eyed. Tsukiyama realized that Kaneki was an even rarer dish than he had thought and came to the conclusion that he didn't want to share with the other members, so he killed the scrapper as Kaneki's replacement.

Kaneki, frightened of Tsukiyama, slept at Anteiku for the night. The next day, Hinami, also bringing along the cockatiel Loser, Yomo, and Yoshimura, visited Kaneki. Kaneki told them he saw lots of ghouls and commented at how they laughed behind their masks as he, Kobachi, and Ami were injured. Yoshimura commented that they were ghouls who killed their emotions and forgot the value of life. After Yoshimura and Yomo left, Touka called Kaneki because a girl was waiting downstairs for him. Kimi begged Kaneki for help since Nishio's state had worsened further. Kaneki promised to help her. As she was returning home, Tsukiyama kidnapped her to set the next trap for Kaneki.

After Kaneki had found Tsukiyama's letter about Kimi being kidnapped by him, Nishio came looking for Kimi. Kaneki and Nishio decided to face Tsukiyama together to save Kimi. However, Kaneki and Nishio were no match for Tsukiyama, and even after Touka joined them, they were on the losing side because Tsukiyama was the only one who could use his kagune. However, Nishio's tenacity and Kaneki's idea to allow himself to be eaten by Touka led to victory against Tsukiyama.

Aogiri Arc

Banjou and his followers came to Anteiku to search for Rize by orders of Aogiri's leaders. Touka and Kaneki decided to hear his story, and Banjou began to talk about his time with Rize in the 11th ward. However, Banjou soon realized that Kaneki smelled like Rize. Because he suspected Kaneki to be her boyfriend, he attacked him, but Banjou was easily knocked out by Kaneki. When Banjou woke up again, Kaneki tried to clear up the misunderstanding. He told Banjou that Rize had moved somewhere else, hiding from him that she had died. Banjou asked Kaneki to tell her that she should run away because he feared that Aogiri would try to gravely hurt her. At that moment, Ayato Kirishima, Yamori and Nico raided Anteiku. They announced that they were ordered to capture Rize herself or "the person who smells like her". Touka and Kaneki were easily overpowered and Kaneki was kidnapped.

After Kaneki had regained consciousness, he asked Ayato about Touka's condition, but in response, Ayato taught Kaneki the rules of the place while kicking and beating him. Kaneki was brought before Tatara. To make Kaneki reveal his kakugan, Tatara pierced his abdomen. Tatara realized that he could not use Kaneki the way he originally planned, so he granted Ayato the right to do whatever he wished with Kaneki. Tatara revealed to Kaneki that the escaped Doctor Kanou was aware what had happened to Kaneki's body and that Kanou didn't transplant a kidney into Kaneki, but a Kakuhou.

After the meeting, Kaneki was approached by Banjou, who proposed that they should escape together.During the meeting, he meets Banjou's resistance group who were also subdued by Aogiri. Banjou proposed that because the Aogiri superiors take turns leaving on different days of the week, they will make their escape when security is light.

On the night of the escape, the Anti-Aogiri group attempted to escape. However, the Bin brothers were alarmed by their escape and went after the group to intervene. When Banjou stayed behind to cover their escape, Kaneki and the gas mask followers came to his aid to confront one of the Bin. Admist of fighting, Yamori and Nico joined them along with several of the resistance members, revealing that they have overheard their plan and proceeded to ambush them. Despite knowing that death is the penalty for betrayal, Yamori instead proposed to Kaneki that he will overlook this event in exchange for his cooperation as an assisant because he possessed Rize's organs and had 'potential.' Kaneki hesitantly accepted, knowing that they would be killed otherwise and was taken by Yamori and Nico into his "hobby room".

10 days before the CCG stormed the Aogiri hideout, Yamori showed Kaneki his "hobby room". Kaneki is shocked when he sees a dead person sitting on a chair, whom Yamori reveals to be his former underling who is tortured for making a mistake. Yamori showed Kaneki Rc suppressants and explained that they are are used to weaken ghouls and forcibly injected the drug by stabbing Kaneki's left eye with a syringe. After the injection, Kaneki's body was weakened so that Yamori could torture him for pleasure. Days of torment took a toll on his physical and mental state. Trivially, Yamori reveals to Kaneki that Kanou had known he was surgically making him into a half-ghoul and that Rize's kakuhou was "special" for it's abnormal vigor.The torment had made his hair whiten and he begins to wonder what has happened to his friends. In a state of despair, he begins to hallucinate Rize and began to reminisce over his tragic past. Rize called him and his mother weak, but Yamori appeared with Kei and Kouto before she finished. Enraged that Yamori didn't fulfill his end of their bargain, Kaneki was given another ultimatum: Who of the two will he spare? Unable to comply to Yamori's twisted pleasure, Kaneki refused as Nico protested against Yamori's distasteful violence. The aggrivated Yamori ultimately killed both the mother and child ghoul and he and Nico left Kaneki in despair. Rize's illusion spoke to Kaneki, taunting him that it was his weakness that lead the two to their grisly demise. 'Rize' reasons that if more brutal ghouls like Yamori and Aogiri were to come to power, then his friends will eventually suffer similar fates. Realizing that in order to prevent this, he must become a ghoul full-heartedly and learn to control his kagune.

During the CCG attack, Yamori returned to Kaneki. He told him of a rumor that if a ghoul were to cannibalize one another, they will become stronger but ghoul meat was considered disgustingly distasteful. When he motioned to carve out Kaneki in order to eat him, Kaneki bites him and agrees with his latest notion. Freeing himself from the chair, he attacks Yamori and bites him, jeering that ghouls were indeed made to compete and that it can't be help that Yamori could be devoured, too. The two fought with their kagunes, in which Kaneki eventually overpowers him and proceeded to eat Yamori's kagune. After feasting on his kagune, Kaneki reminded him, before leaving, that the CCG will come to the hobby room and kill him while he has been wounded and disarmed.

Kaneki later fights Ayato. During the fight the had a brief conversation about Ayato's motivations in Aogiri. Kaneki concludes that Ayato joined Aogiri in order to protect Touka because he had impided Yamori to "play" with her. The fight is even, but it ends when Kaneki breaks through an entire building using Ayato as an battering ram. The fight ends when Kaneki "half-kills" him by breaking 103 out of 206 bones in Ayato's body as revenge for Touka.

When the fight is over and Kaneki and his friends are safe, Kaneki states that he will not come back to Anteiku. He accepts the help of Banjou and Shuu, even Hinami, but he do not allow Touka to follow him.

Root A (Anime)

Soon after Kaneki defeats Yamori, he saves Touka from Ayato which led Kaneki to clash with him. The fight is stopped by Noro, whom takes away Ayato with his kagune. After the building starts collapsing, Kaneki is stalked by Eto. Kaneki comes back to Touka saying he will no longer return to Anteiku and instead says he will join the Aogiri. He is later seen with his new outfit, walking towards Tatara, Noro, Ayato and Eto, while he is surrounded by Aogiri soldiers, hailing his arrival. His new journey starts.

He is later seen attacking a CCG convoy along with Ayato, during which Kaneki is assaulted by Nashiro and Kurona, two one-eyed ghouls, but they leave shortly after their attack. Naki, Yamori's subordinate is unable to reason due to the death on Yamori. Kaneki later helps Naki by writing Yamori with the correct kanji leading Naki to thank him. Kaneki is later seen along with Ayato again, watching over Cochlea.

The attack starts and the Aogiri's forces infiltrate Cochlea, where a giant helix is put on the roof. Kaneki starts descending into the lowers levels along with Ayato and other Aogiri's ghouls. During the descent they are split up and Kaneki goes to the bottom alone. There he finds that one of the cells has not opened. Inside he finds Matasaka Kamishiro, nicknamed "Orca". The ghoul attacks Kaneki at view because he smells like Rize. They fight, but Kamishiro is a superior fighter that does not fall even when Kaneki pierce him with his kagune. At the end Kamishiro wins due to his knowledge of martial arts and his uncanny speed. Matasaka gives Kaneki a final blow with his kagune, sending him crashing into walls. Kaneki is last seen in a room, where he contemplates and reveals his reason for joining Aogiri; to become stronger. He then unleashes his Kakuja for the first time. After this, he fights against Shinohara. Kaneki has superiority from the beginning of the fight and gives Shinohara and the Arata armor a hard time. Shinohara manages to give Kaneki a quite dangerous blow, making the one eyed ghoul's kakuja to dissapear, but Kaneki, instead of losing the match, he is able to release both is kagune and his kakuja at the same time, while talking stuff related to his torture at the hands of Yamori. He quickly puts him behind Shinohara and gives him a powerful blow that knocks the investigator.

Later on, Kaneki is found by Amon and Akira eating Shinohara's Arata armor. This enrages Amon and attacks Kaneki, while asking him why he let him go that night. Amon manage to cut off both his kagune and his kakuja, and Kaneki cannot regenerate them because of the CRC gas. Kaneki lies kneeling in the floor due to Amon's attacks. Amon, after Kaneki had not answer his questions, states that Kaneki is just an ordinary ghoul after all. This seems to touch Kaneki because the one eyed ghoul stars crying and says that he does not want to eat anymore. At the end, Kaneki is saved by Eto, who pick him up and take him away of the investigators.

After the incident, Kaneki is seen back at the hideout, trying to drink coffee, only to later drop the cup with his Kakuja emerging and lashing about wildly, with Kaneki screaming hysterically and covering his face. Afterwards, he is on the couch, trying to rest, but his Kakuja is seen trying to manifest until he pierces his body, calming himself down for the time being. He is also mentioned by Roma Hoito after watching the news while cleaning up the broken mess of a glass cup with Hinami, curious about the One-Eyed Ghoul that has been causing CCG so much trouble in the 23rd Ward.

Kaneki is later seen having reoccuring nightmares and flashbacks relating to his Kakuja, devouring something inside the room with the skulls. However, as he recalls his battle with Shinohara and Amon, his Kakuja crumbles, and finds himself being clinged to by Rize and Yamori. He later wakes up from the nightmare, panting heavily, and mutters that he wasn't he one eating Ghouls, rather he was the one being devoured instead. Later, he enters Anteiku and has a chat with Yoshimura, with the latter asking him to return. After he leaves, Touka catches up to him and asks what he has been doing all this time. Kaneki explains that he wanted to become stronger so that he could protect everyone at Anteiku, which Touka realizes his reasons for joining Aogiri, due to it's powerful members and executives. Kaneki explains that he doesn't want to lose the people most precious to him, however Touka, emotionally angry, rebukes this, and tells him he is just being selfish. She also tries to attack him, yelling and screaming, however Kaneki easily avoids her attacks.

However, after she yells at him to never come back to Anteiku. Kaneki hesitates, and Touka punches him, knocking him back. Touka repeatedly punches him, but after a while, stops, and asked him why he had to become this way. After she leaves a bruised Kaneki behind, he couldn't help but smile as he asks himself, "Why indeed?"

Raid of Kanou's Lab

After the invasion of the Aogiri hideout, it is rumored that he was the one to single-handedly destroy the Ghoul Restaurant and kill about 50-60 members. In the Ghoul Restaurant Kaneki confronted Kuro and Shiro, two one-eyed ghouls with the same abilities from Rize, which were later confirmed to be newer products of Doctor Kanou.

Anteiku Raid

After overhearing CCG officers' plans to raid Anteiku, Kaneki decided to head there as fast as possible to help out Yoshimura. During his way in the 20th Ward, Amon appeared in his way and began fighting him with Kaneki retaliating unwillingly. With a new quinque, Amon held an advantage over Kaneki. However, Kaneki chose to activate his Kakuja and overwhelmed his opponent easily, even when Amon received a newer quinque made for him mid-battle. Slashing off Amon's left arm but losing a chunk of meat on his waist, Kaneki retreats into the sewer paths to continue on. In the sewers he gradually begins to lose his mind due to his incomplete-Kakuja's side effects until Hide appears. Trying to convince himself that Hide couldn't possibly be there and what he's seeing is in fact an illusion due to his madness, Hide confronts him and tells him he knew Kaneki became a ghoul but still wants to aid him. After being told that CCG has surrounded the entire place, Kaneki is asked by Hide if he can go all out once more to escape the raid.

Kaneki passes out and wakes up with a sweet taste in his mouth. Hide is nowhere to be found so he continues to wander to the route V14 only to run into Kishou Arima in what he first believes to be a flower field, later found to be a field of Ghoul corpses slain by Arima. He instinctively knows who Arima is but is nonetheless drawn into a battle with him, getting pierced in the back and stabbed through his one kakugan eye. He starts freaking out and losing his mind, and after he gets 8 claws on his kagune, they start battling while Kaneki shout nonsensical sentences. However Arima surpasses him, so he finally decides to finish Arima with one hit thinking that because Arima is a human he would die, but was instead blocked by Arima's quinque Ixa's, defensive barrier. Then Arima revealed that he knew who Kaneki was by calling him by his name and saying that he was impressed that Kaneki managed to damage his quinque. Arima then went on to pierce Kaneki through his body with Ixa which raised him from the ground before dropping him in front of the man. After stating how he hadn't expected Kaneki to damage his quinque, he stabs Ixa through his head before mentioning he needed a new quinque.

Post-Raid Anteiku

After the operation had ended, Kaneki was imprisoned in Cochlea as Prisoner #240. His mental state had deteriorated seriously: He was repeatedly picking at his eyes until his wounds were festering, refusing food, crying at night, and was clawing at the doors such that his finger nails came off while screaming they should let him out. Furthermore, he was suffering from amnesia. The prison staff expected him to die. Arima started bringing him books. Reading those books greatly improved his mental state. Later, Arima told Kaneki that he would need a name, as it had been planned to appoint him as an investigator as part of his rehabilitation program, and asked him to choose one. He picked his two favorite kanji from the words 'coffee' and 'world', forming the name 'Haise'.

Some time later, as Akira was visiting her father's grave to tell him of her promotion to Rank 1 and how she had been assigned to oversee the training of a junior who was said to be an oddity among investigators, that pupil approached her and introduced himself as Rank 3 Investigator Haise Sasaki

Torso Investigation

At the CCG main office in the 1st ward, Haise Sasaki is revealed to be the mentor of the Quinx Squad. He became distraught at the fact that his team mates went out to conduct an investigation without him. Haise and Mutsuki decide to consult Team Hirako, a group of higher-class investigators, only to face nothing but prejudice and inequity, as Sasaki was labeled incompetent and dishonorable for not being able to control his squad independently. Later on, Sasaki arrived at the scene of the investigation, ordering Urie to spare Akashi Kobayashi’s life; for he might have some sort of helpful information. He also scolds his members for trying to exterminate ghouls needlessly. However, Sasaki was forced to face criticism once again, being accused of following the “Torso” case blindly by not putting any sufficient efforts into his work. Sasaki visited Shiba in his office, and the two conversed about the fate of the Qs' diet being affected by their Rc levels. He then attended a meeting held among Team Mado, Team Hirako and Team Shimoguchi. When he was singled out for being slack about ghoul extermination, Sasaki began to argue with Shimoguchi. However, much to his dismay, he was forced to co-operate with Team Shimoguchi. After the meeting’s dismissal, Sasaki met with a colleague, Kuramoto Itou, whom provided him with information on Serpent. When he arrived home, Sasaki found out yet again, that Urie and Shirazu have gone on an independent mission. He later tried to teach them about working together, but after they left without listening to what he had to say, Haise became serious about his work, and asked Mutsuki to accompany him on a mission to pursue Torso. Haise and Mutsuki visited the SS level of Cochlea, where they spoke to Donato Porpora to gather information about Torso. Haise was told that ghouls often blend into society to maneuver their way for hunting, and that most of them take the method of driving taxis. Sasaki realized that Urie had been ahead of him in the Torso Investigation all along, but Donato requested Haise to pay a visit once more, for there is a special case that involves Sasaki himself. Recently Haise had recurring nightmares of a young man seen pondering in despair and hopelessness, trying to persuade Sasaki that he is worthless and will never rise above his weakness, but Haise paid no heed to the dream.

Sasaki soon immersed his interests into the Torso case; studying Torso’s pathological possessiveness since the ghoul has an abnormal habit of cutting off the legs of victims who subsequently acquire scars from surgeries; which may have a meaning. Before the deadline of the Torso Investigation, Haise, along with Mutsuki, visited a few surgical clinics within the area.

Powers and Abilities

Kaneki starts off as weak and not used to fights, with a feeble body that has neither muscles nor flexibility. He has poor reflexes, reflecting his terrible athletic skills when he was previously human. Despite this, he is shown to be very adaptive and a quick learner. He is highly intelligent having the ability of learning martial arts in a short period of time through martial arts books and strict training from Touka and Yomo, making him a competent fighter above the average level. Despite the surgery, Kaneki seems to lack the sense of smell other ghouls have that can differentiate between humans and ghouls, although he is shown to be unaffected by Ghoul-Detecting machines.

After being tortured by Yakumo Oomori and accepting his ghoul side all the knowledge and skills he learnt are put to use, he became capable of easily dodging quick attacks, his reflexes and strength were greatly enhanced becoming capable of defeating Yamori with ease. Also his regenerative ability was greatly enhanced, being able to heal a broken leg or dislocated fingers in a matter of seconds. Kaneki is also a tactical combatant, his intelligence and improvisational abilities allow him to challenge foes far more powerful than himself.

As Haise Sasaki, he is a skilled investigator—having managed to climb the ranks from Rank 3 to Rank 1 within a few short years without relying upon his Ghoul abilities. He has received training from both Kishou Arima and Akira Mado, both exceptional Investigators that have molded him into a talented individual. Akira describes him as an "Ace", and his skill earned him the illustrious White Wing Award. As an investigator, he is a strong fighter in battle and shows great skill in criminal investigations.

While required to avoid using his powers, when using them he displays a high-level of control over the shape of his Kagune. He is now able to shape individual tentacles into three-fingered claws, or create a sword in the same fashion that Tsukiyama used.

External links

Trivia

  • In the anime, Kaneki joins the Aogiri Tree.
  • Kaneki ranked second in character popularity with his Haise Sasaki being third.
  • Ken is similar to Allen Walker from D.Gray-man.
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